The Section Clinical Tropical Medicine offers special consultation in the field of extrapulmonary tuberculosis. Cooperating with the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, it is a centre for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) patients are most often individuals suffering from pulmonary or extrapulmonary post-primary reactivation of a primary infection contracted in a TB high-incidence country. Reactivation usually involves the lungs. In cases with characteristic radiological features, diagnosis is usually not an issue. Delays in clinical and radiological diagnosis mainly occur due to atypical (pulmonary) manifestations in immunocompromised patients and extrapulmonary post-primary TB. As primary TB infection (primary complex) results in systemic haematogenous dissemination, post-primary TB may develop in any organ. In approx. 90% of TB-infected cases, primary infection and dissemination are subclinical. Radiological manifestations of extrapulmonary post-primary TB are non-specific and may mimic especially those of tumour diseases.